with the rest of my regiment, under Colonel Campbell. I may confidently assert that no unnecessary time was spent in the various skirmishes just described. About an hour and a half before dark we reached Mechanicsville, under a terrific fire of Shot and shell. For a short time we were compelled to wait until we could receive orders from General Hill. Before dark, we were ordered to take our position in a road which appeared to run at right angles with the road we had previously occupied, and to the left of it. Upon the application of General Archer, the Seventh and Twenty-eighth regiments were ordered by you to report to him; but, upon Colonel Campbell's application, we ascertained he had no immediate duty for us to perform. It was then fully dark, though the artillery conflict still continued; and, as soon as it ceased, we were ordered to take our position immediately in front of the enemy's batteries, and about a quarter of a mile therefrom, being still in the front of your brigade. At this point we bivouacked for the night, and were prepared for action at three o'clock next morning, under orders from you. In a short time after this, the enemy's batteries opened upon us, as did some of their sharpshooters. Under this fire we remained for about an hour and a half, when we were ordered into the woods on the right of the road last spoken of, to which position we moved, marching by the right flank. About ten o'clock A. M. of the twenty-seventh ultimo, we were ordered again to take our position in the road, which we accordingly did. After remaining there for some time, it was ascertained that the enemy had abandoned his position in the batteries. We then took up our line of march for Gaines's Mill, which point we reached between three and four o'clock P. M. of the same day. Almost immediately upon arriving at this point, our regiment was ordered into action. We advanced upon the right-hand road, having thrown forward two companies as skirmishers, who were immediately engaged, when the whole regiment advanced rapidly to their support. In this advance, company B did distinguished credit to itself and its commander, Captain R. S. Young, by the readiness with which it became aligned, and its marked steadiness in advancing under a very heavy fire. As we approached, Colonel Campbell ordered the skirmishers to form upon the right of the regiment, and the line advanced to a rail fence in front of the woods. Here we engaged the enemy, vastly superior to us in numbers. After holding this position for some time, and finding he was not so rapidly reenforced as he anticipated, Colonel Campbell ordered his regiment to retire to the rear of the wood. The command was then separated. About seven companies, under command of Colonel Campbell, were almost immediately advanced to their previous position, and three companies under my command (to wit, B, F, A, and a portion of G) were rallied in the rear of the wood, and reported to Major-General Hill for orders. The seven companies under Colonel Campbell, after driving the enemy through the wood, were ordered by Major-General Ewell to change their position by a movement by the right flank. After moving about a quarter of a mile, they were ordered to advance across a swamp, and over an abatis of felled trees, up a hill, upon an intrenched position of the enemy. It was in this advance that our patriotic Colonel lost that life which was so dear to his whole regiment. The colors, when the advance began, were in the hands of Corporal Henry T. Fight, of company F. He was instantly shot down, when they were again seized by Corporal James A. Harris, of company I. He was also shot down, when Colonel Campbell himself seized the colors, and, advancing some twenty paces in front of his regiment, ordered them not to fire, but follow him. Within twenty paces of the enemy's line he was shot down, when Lieutenant Duncan C. Haywood, commanding company E, again seized our flag, the staff of whch had been shot in two, and advanced to the front of the regiment. He also immediately lost his life; whereupon the flag of the regiment was carried out of the action by Corporal Geary, of company C. It was now nightfall, and Major Junius L. Hill, who had behaved with his usual distinguished gallantry, finding that more than half our force was destroyed, and himself exhausted by long action, and a severe shock from one of the enemy's bombs, formed such of his men as he could collect, and reported to me. The flag which was borne during this conflict was literally shot to pieces, and bore upon its field the marks of thirty-two balls. This is the best indication of the heavy fire to which our brave men were exposed. My portion of the command, which, in obedience to orders, had fallen back to the rear of the wood, after the first two hours of the engagement, was, upon my application to Major-General A. P. Hill for orders, ordered toward the right of our lines for the purpose of supporting a portion of General Jackson's command, which, he informed me, was then upon the field. My men cheerfully and earnestly advanced toward the right, with cheers for “Old Stonewall.” We were under heavy fire for the rest of the evening, but were not so actively engaged as the rest of our regiment; the aforesaid portion of Jackson's command and Wheat's battalion being in our front. Near nightfall I reported to you, stating the exhausted condition of my troops, when you directed me to form on the left of the road, approaching the enemy, and post sentinels along the road so as to collect such portions of your brigade as might pass along said road, directing them to bivouac at this point. On Saturday, the twenty-eighth, we remained quietly in our bivouac, caring for the wounded and dead. The country and our State too painfully appreciate the loss of our most capable Colonel for me to say aught in his praise. It was in this battle that company E, under the command of Lieutenant Haywood, lost all of its
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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